My son rarely complains about his childhood, but when he does, I tell him: “I made sure you had everything I ever wanted. What more could you ask for?” He is not amused. Naturally, his wants weren’t exactly the same as mine.

Evidently, what he wanted most was a dog and a sectional sofa, because those were the first things he bought when he moved out. He somehow ended up with two dogs instead of one, and the fact that they immediately made puddles on the couch and ruined the cushions proves to me that karma really is a thing.

The sofa suffered further indignities when we helped him move in June. Simply picking it up and putting it in the trailer caused the screws to pull out of the particle board frame, which then made ominous crunching sounds. In the interests of full disclosure, it did get dropped once, but not very much.

I’ve heard that young people these days don’t want what they call “brown furniture.” That’s the stuff that belongs to their parents and grandparents, and I think they call it that because most of it is made of actual wood. It’s the kind of furniture that is so sturdy, it can be passed down through several generations, if only the generations would take it off our hands, which they won’t.

The modern trend in decorating is that if it can’t be ordered off the internet, shipped flat in a package and put together with a screwdriver and an Allen wrench, it’s not worth having in your home. But after moving my son’s sofa, I’m wondering if today’s young people will eventually change their minds when they realize that in the long run, it actually costs less to own something that will last a while.

— Betsy Biesenbach, a reader in Roanoke

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